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Ukrainian-born Miss Japan Carolina Shiino gives up her title after an article about her affair with a married man

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NEW DELHI: Carolina Shiino, the Ukrainian-born winner of the 2024 Miss Japan beauty pageant, has voluntarily renounced her title after a magazine published an article detailing her involvement in an affair with a married man. The revelation sparked public discussion on the complexities of identity in Japan, a country that places high value on homogeneity and conformity.
In a message posted on her Instagram account on Monday, Shiino confirmed that she had offered to resign from her crown and modelling agency, and her offer had been accepted. The magazine Weekly Bunshun reported last week that Shiino had been in a relationship with a married doctor, prompting her to initially admit to the relationship while claiming ignorance of his marital status.
Later, Shiino amended her statement, acknowledging that she was aware of the doctor’s marital status and family. She attributed her initial misinformation to shock and fear over the article and apologized for causing trouble and betraying her supporters. She also extended apologies to the man’s partner, family, and all other parties involved.
The Miss Japan organisers’ office announced on Tuesday that Shiino’s renunciation of the title had been accepted. They further declared that the slot for the 2024 winner would remain vacant and took responsibility for the situation, apologizing to sponsors, judges, and others for the inconvenience caused. The organisation initially defended Shiino based on her initial explanation but expressed regret for the ensuing controversy.
The scandal reignited discussions on social media, questioning why Shiino faced the brunt of public criticism while the man involved in the affair remained silent. In Japan’s traditionally male-dominated culture, women often bear the brunt of public criticism in cases of extramarital affairs, reflecting societal expectations of women as good mothers and wives.
This incident comes after Japanese actress Ryoko Hirosue faced indefinite suspension from her acting contracts last year over an alleged affair with a married celebrity chef, highlighting the persisting double standards in the public’s treatment of men and women involved in similar situations.
Shiino, who has lived in Japan since the age of 5 and became a naturalized citizen in 2022, previously emphasized her strong sense of Japanese identity despite her Caucasian appearance. The controversy has prompted discussions about societal expectations, identity, and the treatment of individuals in Japan’s evolving cultural landscape.

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